You may have read during the week of a micro-revolt by Labor MPs over the Government’s abandonment of the CPRS.

“After being bombarded by outraged younger voters in their electorates, five Labor MPs have told The Australian the government’s current position on climate change is untenable and unsellable to the electorate,” Patricia Karvelas and Dennis Shanahan reported on Wednesday (Shanahan was having a good week actually — his analysis of Newspoll on Tuesday was, for once, on the money).

The Greens, ever hopeful Penny Wong might forget how to count Senate votes, used the story as the basis for again asking the Government to consider its carbon tax proposal.

Except there was more to the bombardment by outraged younger voters than met the eye.  The “bombardment” was coordinated by our progressive friends at GetUp, which emailed members urging them to call Labor MPs and demand action on climate change.

With the fillip of the Australian article, GetUp renewed its effort yesterday, sending out another email to members (in Victoria at least) linked to their postcodes, urging them to call their Labor MPs.

Dear ****,

Did you see yesterday’s papers? “After being bombarded by outraged younger voters in their electorates, five Labor MPs have told The Australian the government’s current position on climate change is untenable.”1

There’s been a lot of bad news on climate change recently, but the good news? Local action is working. The more pressure we put on our local politicians, the more they’re putting on Kevin Rudd to take a stronger climate policy to this election. And whichever party you vote for, that’s welcome news.

So let’s keep it up. Can you make a quick phone call to your MP’s office before they return to Canberra on Monday? Let’s tell them that Labor must have a serious climate policy — one that makes companies responsible for their climate pollution.

Most of us haven’t called a politician before — but that’s what makes it so powerful. In your electorate of Bendigo, we’re aiming for 20 calls to the office of your MP, ***** ******. Can you pick up the phone now? It only takes 30 seconds.

The number is….

Every Labor MP and Senator is meeting for a crucial caucus meeting on Monday morning. Will your MP, ***** ****** stand up for climate action? It depends whether they hear from you or not.

What will happen on your call?
When you ring a staff member will answer the phone.
Tell them you’re a local constituent and that you’d like to speak to ****** ******
You may not be able to speak to your MP, but tell their staff that you’d like to register how upset you are about the Government delaying climate action until 2013.
Add any personal notes – did you vote for them last election? Did you volunteer for their campaign?
You might want to mention that renewable energy investment is a good start, but a serious policy means putting a price on carbon.
If we won’t pick up the phone now, when the Government has just broken their major election promise on climate change, when will we?

Can you call the office of your MP, ***** ******? The number is…..

Last week, as over 20,000 getup members signed a vote of no confidence in Kevin Rudd’s climate leadership, we received panicked calls from Senior government figures urging us to stop the campaign. This week, headlines reported “Kevin Rudd’s personal standing has taken a hammering after his decision to dump his climate change policy last week.”2

It’s clear the Government is under huge pressure to announce a stronger climate policy before this year’s election. They’ve heard it from pollsters, they’ve heard it from pundits — but they need to hear it from you.

Join dozens of other GetUp members in your electorate of ******** making a quick call today — we won’t make today’s target of 20 calls without you. The number is….

Thank you for telling your MP to get up,
The GetUp Team

PS – The government’s climate policy is now almost as weak as the opposition’s, and a recent poll commissioned by GetUp found that most Australians can’t tell the difference between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott on climate change. But the good news is that under local pressure, Labor MPs are starting to push hard for a price on carbon pollution. Please call your local MP today and ask them to stand up for strong climate action.

**NB: we used the postcode you gave us previously to calculate which federal electorate you’re in. Did we get your electorate wrong? Click here for a full contact list of Labor MPs and Senators**

–Sources–
1 “Anxious Labor MPs push carbon tax”, Patricia Karvelas and Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, May 05, 2010
2 “Climate shifting against Kevin Rudd: Newspoll”, Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, May 04, 2010

GetUp appears to have gilded the lily somewhat (unheard of, yes).

Senior Government figures professed to be mystified as to which of their number made “panicked calls” to GetUp demanding the campaign be halted.  Not that the campaign hasn’t had some success — one MP reported 24 calls from yesterday’s email.  Another reported 6-12 calls a day were coming in, a third, “a couple”.

Peter Fray

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